[T]he widening economic and social divide is the area’s biggest challenge … Los Angeles is home to more millionaires than any other urban area. But one-fifth of county residents—1.7 million people—and one-fourth of all children live below the poverty line.
The division between the rich and the poor has been recognized as one of the root causes for the 1992 Los Angeles’ riots, coupled with the lack of adequate government response to the deepening divide between these two classes of citizens. More troubling than the root causes of the riots are the recent studies which show that the city has made very little progress in addressing the deep divide between these two groups of citizens.
Central to this discussion is the question, so what? Does government bear a responsibility to ensure equality amongst all citizens? Or should government concern itself only with the provision of necessary services and let issues of equality and wealth distribution be solved amongst citizens? Does the threat of violence place greater pressure on the government to address these issues; or is the threat a hollow one that only time will tell?